Happy Wednesday! How is everyone's week going? Mine's chugging along just fine. Monday was a doozy. I was suffering from terrible allergies and the day felt like it dragged on forever. Tuesday was marginally better. I had a fun lunch with my sister, did three loads of laundry, started a new book, took a great cycling class, and had a really nice dinner with my dad. We went to my favorite little neighborhood market afterward. Shopping with my dad - grocery or otherwise - is one of my most favorite things. Somehow he makes the most ordinary tasks seem fun. A few years ago the only things I wanted to be treated to were "going out" tops and dresses. Now when he takes me to get a new pair of yoga pants it seriously feels like the best day ever. My oh my, the times they are a-changin'.
Today has been productive as well. I finally got around to plugging in my new camera and downloading the photos from our New Years cruise.
My dad, sister, fiancé, Nana, and two cousins took a cruise over New Years. Cruises are really the only way Nana is able to comfortably travel these days (no airplanes, limited walking) so while I don't think it would have necessarily been our first choice for means of vacaying otherwise, we decided to go for it and fun was had by all.
Cruises have a reputation for being somewhat gluttonous and for good reason. It's basically a free-for-all in terms of food. Prior to this, the last time I had cruised was nearly five years ago, and I was a very different Teddi back then. I wasn't watching what I ate and I certainly never set foot in the ship gym. I know this rodeo would be a very different go-around, and I wanted to share my tips for staying healthy on a cruise as I feel many of them apply to vacations in general!
Beware the buffet. Cruises are known for their all-you-can-eat buffets. We took a Royal Caribbean cruise, and they offer a variety of venues to dine at. I preferred the dining room whenever possible - the menu in the buffet does not change so seeing the same exact choices can get a little old on Day 3. There are mealtimes when the buffets are unavoidable, and in those situations I stuck mostly to fruits and veggies. Sadly they did not offer any berries and their sliced bananas were served in syrup (wah - whole bananas were a hot commodity and sometimes hard to come by) so I stuck to the safe-looking stuff - mostly pineapple and melon. I didn't care for the scrambled eggs so I opted for hard-boiled. For lunch, make-your-own chopped salads are always a great option. I also kept some snacks, like crackers, nut butter packets, and trail mix in our room so that I was never tempted to hit the buffet at snacktime. (And everyone knows I love to snack.)
Skip the beverage package. Sorry, Royal Caribbean - I gotta tell it like it is. We all went back and forth on whether or not to get wine packages, cocktail packages, soda packages - you name it. Keep in mind that on many boats, food is all-inclusive but beverages are not. In the end, we reasoned with the fact that we're not big drinkers and so we ordered two bottles of champagne for New Years Eve and called it a day. I'm so glad we opted out because I know that if we'd bought into any of them, we would've all been drinking more than we wanted or needed to just to feel like we were getting our money's worth. This is a very easy trap to fall into. DON'T! Buy your drinks a la carte. The only package we did get was the bottled water package. I highly recommend this for my fellow H2O hounds.
Be picky. My fiancé recently told me that I am a picky eater, to which I replied, "And proud of it!" Kidding. I was absolutely horrified and fake-cried for a good five minutes. But you know what? He's probably right, and it's fine. You are what you eat, and I don't see any problem with being a little selective! Don't be afraid to ask your waiter to move things around a bit. Whether it's adding a lean protein to a pasta to give it some staying power or changing up the ingredients in your dinner salad, only you know what's best for you.
Hit the gym daily. My dad and I met in the gym every morning at 7am for a different class - yoga, stretching, and abs. Then I'd usually go back in the afternoon for some cardio and a little strength training. The two ports we hit were ones we'd been to before, so we literally left the boat for lunch and were back on it less than two hours later. We spent most of our time at sea, and there are lots of ways to sweat on the open waters that don't involve basking in the sun for hours on end! (But if you do choose to lay out - BRING SUNSCREEN! You're much closer to the sun on the 12th deck of a cruise ship than you would be on a regular ol' beach day.)
If the boat is a rockin', don't come a-knockin'. Motion helps me sleep, and I took full advantage of it. I should probably live on a boat or at least get some yachty friends. I napped during the day and went to bed early at night. This made it easy for me to wake up at 6:30 and meet my dad for a morning workout by 7. Ben and I are both morning people except for the fact that he loves to sleep in on vacation and I have pretty much never in my life loved to sleep in. Knowing this, I allowed myself to conk out pretty early at night. (We had coffee cocktails on New Years Eve to stay awake and still barely made it to midnight. We were back in our room at 12:05am.) Treat a vacation like a vacation - get as much sleep as you can!
BYOP. Bring your own props! I recently used a gift card to treat myself to a travel yoga mat and I'm so glad I did. (I have the Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Mat and love it. I found it on sale at Lucy as well.) I brought my mat to the gym with me each morning and layered it on top of one of their mats. I also love using this in hotel rooms for plants and other mat work. A towel works as well, but I prefer the surface of a mat. Pack sneakers and lots of gym clothes.